How to Survive Your First Week in Braces
Grayslake, IL – Dr. Michael Stosich at iDentity Orthodontics is an expert at moving teeth and works with patients of all ages to help them achieve their most ideal smiles. He wants each of his patients to coast through treatment with as little discomfort as possible, so he recommends the following to help patients ease into their braces experience.
- It’s important to know that no braces experience will come without a bit of discomfort, especially in the first few days and weeks. Braces don’t hurt when they are being put on, but your mouth may feel tender or just a bit different immediately after. Your mouth will need to get used to the new appliance and sensations that are occurring. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever to help with any discomfort you may feel in the first few days or on adjustment days.
- Be prepared to change your diet – at least a little bit. If you wear standard bracket and wire braces, it is important to eat a braces friendly diet. This is especially true in the first day or two after your braces are put on when your teeth may be at their most sensitive. Stick to soft foods and don’t forget the cold drinks to help with any discomfort.
Once your mouth is used to the braces, you still have to be careful what you eat. Anything that is too hard, sticky, crunchy or chewy could damage your brackets or wires. We know it can be hard to forgo some of your favorite foods while in treatment, but we promise the end result will be worth it. Avoid foods like chewy bagels or pizza crust, caramel, taffy, and any foods you have to bite into, such as whole apples or corn on the cob. Cutting foods into bite sized pieces can be helpful.
- Saltwater rinses will be your friend. Your braces may cause some irritation to the inside of your cheeks and lips. Salt water rinses can work wonders to relieve discomfort association with this. In no time, your mouth will be used to your appliance.
- Don’t forget the orthodontic wax. We’ll provide you with wax that you can use to cover any areas that are proving to be more annoying than others. Simply take a small bit of wax and place it over any spot on your appliance that bothers you. And don’t forget to ask if you need a refill.
- Take your time brushing and flossing. Chances are you probably have always zoomed through brushing your teeth like it’s second nature. It can take a bit of time to get used to brushing around your brackets and wires, but taking a bit of extra time will ensure your smile stays healthy throughout treatment.
Brush after meals and snacks whenever possible, but always brush your teeth in the morning and before bed. We recommend using a fluoride toothpaste for extra protection. If you can’t brush right after eating, drink a big glass of water to rinse out your mouth and ensure any leftover food particles aren’t trapped in your braces.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and don’t brush too hard – vigorous brushing can actually be damaging to your tooth enamel. Pay close attention to get under each wire and around each bracket.
Don’t forget to floss. You should floss at least once every day. A floss threader can help get the floss under your wires for easier flossing.
Other tools, such as waterpiks or interproximal brushes, can help you get an even cleaner mouth than traditional brushing alone. They’ll be able to ensure every tiny nook and cranny is reached.
- If your teeth feel loose, don’t worry – that’s supposed to happen! In order to move to their new locations, your teeth have to first loosen from their current locations. They will be guided through the bone until their ideal locations are reached. But don’t worry, that sensation won’t last forever. Your mouth will work to build back the bone that was lost during movement and your periodontal ligament will work to hold the teeth in place.
- Keep our contact information handy. You never know when a braces emergency may happen, so keep your information handy so you can contact our office when you need to. For many issues, we can walk you through how to handle them at home without the need to schedule an appointment. Poking wires and loose or broken brackets are some of the most common issues you might face. Before you leave our office, we’ll make sure there are no areas of your braces wires that are poking you, but during the course of your treatment a wire could feel like it’s poking the inside of your mouth. You can use a cotton swab or eraser end of a pencil to gently guide the wire back out of the way and against the tooth. Place some orthodontic wax over the area to keep it from hurting you. If a bracket becomes loose, but is still attached to the wire, simply guide it back to its proper place and hold it there with some orthodontic wax. Then schedule an appointment so we can get you fixed up and on your way.
- Pack a braces care kit to keep with you. In a small travel bag, pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, orthodontic wax and anything else that can help make you comfortable while in treatment. When you’re on the go, you can ensure you have everything you need to keep your smile healthy and treatment on track.
- Don’t be afraid to smile big, even during treatment! Keep the goal of a beautifully straight smile in your mind, and you’ll be smiling throughout your time in treatment.
We promise your time in braces will go much more quickly than you think. In no time, you’ll be enjoying a more beautiful smile and better functioning bite. If you’re ready to schedule your consultation, call iDentity Orthodontics today at 224-408-2200 (Kenilworth office) or 847-548-4200 (Grays Lake office).